By SHANNON KELLY
New online photo-sharing site TravelAvenue calls itself a “virtual personal travel notebook”. If you’ve used Pinterest, you’ll find it easy to get the hang of TravelAvenue, but the site has aspirations beyond just photo sharing. In an interview with Tnooz, TravelAvenue president Loic Dupont said that the company wants to “radically change the way [travellers] organize their research online”.
Basically, you compile an online collections of photos that can be pinned from anywhere on the Web, including from other TravelAvenue users. You find travel photos you like, you use the Web site’s “pin it” button that you can add to your browser toolbar, to save the photo to your TravelAvenue account. Sound familiar? It should: the functionality is almost exactly identical to that of Pinterest. The key differences, as far as we can tell, are:
- the ability to categorize your photos by destination, thereby adding them to the site-wide collaborative travel guide for the destination
- you create “trips” rather than pinboards
- you can ask advice from “experts” on a destination (people who have written reviews of places in the destination on the site).
At first browse, we like TravelAvenue. With hundreds (thousands?) of pretty pictures from around the world already uploaded, it has the potential to be a delicious procrastination abettor. But ultimately its success depends on how many users it can generate. We’d love to see improvements, too, like a smoother user experience (faster loading times, easy way to delete pinned items from trips) and more trip-planning tools like the ability to save pins to a map of the destination that can be easily saved to or viewed on a mobile device.